HistoriCorps evolved out of a network of volunteers and professionals dedicated to saving America’s special places.
Between 2002 and 2007, a group representing land managers and preservation stewards got together to restore buildings in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, Leadville, and Twin Lakes. The partnership demonstrated that a public-private program engaging a network of volunteers and professionals in the preservation of historic places was possible.
In 2009, the United States Forest Service (USFS) approached Colorado Preservation Inc. (CPI) with the idea to form a “corps” modeled after community service programs like the renowned Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps. The program was created through an appropriation of funding by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The first official HistoriCorps preservation project was a community work-day in October 2009 to paint, clean, and repair the USFS Ranger Station and the facades of historic buildings on Main Street of Saguache, Colorado. The project involved 30 volunteers from the community.
There was a need in America for an organization that could conduct “step-on, step-off” projects to save historic structures on public lands and provide resources including volunteers, expertise, tools, and equipment. HistoriCorps is now building the capacity of public land management agencies to preserve their historic resources, advance green technologies, and foster stewardship among local communities. By working with constituents, partners and alternative workforces, HistoriCorps is implementing meaningful solutions that save special places for generations to come.
In January 2013, HistoriCorps became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.